The warm weather has been great for butterflies and dragonflies. Some new species for the year are on the wing and they have a ‘high summer’ feel. Both silver-washed fritillary and purple emperor have been seen at Swanwick this week, although these strong, fast flyers have been typically elusive. They are both perhaps best searched for before the heat of the day when silver-washed fritillaries might be seen nectaring on brambles. Purple emperors will sometimes take minerals from puddles or other sources – the dog poo bin at Swawick has proved to be attractive in the past. A white admiral was seen from the public footpath that runs alongside Hook Heath, as well as three silver-washed fritillaries.
Southern hawker dragonflies have been about this week at Swanwick and Farlington, as well as well as the first ruddy darters and migrant hawkers of the year.